UPDATE: Wheelock Properties shares suspended as offer acceptance tops 90 percent

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Star Attraction’s offer to buy all of Wheelock Properties (Singapore) has brought its stake to above 90 percent, with the stock set to be suspended from trade under SGX regulations, it said in a filing to SGX after the market close on Tuesday.

In a filing before the market open on Wednesday, Wheelock Properties said its shares were suspended from trade.

The offer closed on Tuesday with Star Attraction, which is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Hong Kong real estate giant Wheelock and Company, and its related parties managing to a total of 90.10 percent of the issued shares, or 1.078 billion shares, it said.

Last-minute acceptances of the offer appear to have pipped the total over the 90 percent threshold, with Star Attraction reporting it had only 88.17 percent in its pocket on Monday.

Under SGX rules, at least 10 percent of the total issued shares much be kept in public hands and falling below that free-float level means that SGX-ST will suspend trading in the shares, it said.

“As stated in the offer document, the offeror does not intend to preserve the listing status of the company and in the event the free float requirement is not satisfied, the offeror intends to delist the company,” the filing said.

The remaining shareholders now have the right to require Star Attraction to buy their shares at the offer price, the filing noted. Star Attraction will also have the right to compulsorily acquire any remaining shares.

The S$2.10 a share offer price had valued Wheelock Properties (Singapore) at more than S$2.5 billion and had marked a 20.7 percent premium over the last transacted price prior to the announcement, according to previous filings. However, analysts at OCBC and UOB KayHian had at least initially advised against accepting the offer, saying it had undervalued the Singapore unit.

OCBC later changed its recommendation to advising some shareholders to accept the offer if they had purchased at levels below the offer price; the shares had climbed above the offer price shortly after the bid was made amid speculation a higher offer might emerge later.

The stock ended Tuesday at S$2.10, but in the wake of the offer, it had traded as high as S$2.27 amid speculation, which was later quashed, that Star Attraction might raise its bid.

Star Attraction and related parties had held around 76.21 percent of Wheelock Properties’ shares on the offer announcement date, it said.

This article was originally published on Tuesday 2 October 2018 at 22:00 SGT; it has since been updated with Wheelock Properties’ statement that its shares were suspended.

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